tax rate for 2016 is now less than it was a month ago.
Chief Financial Officer Lynn Kwilasz said that after the refinancing for the
Corporation’s pension debt service bonds this next year, the total tax rate
is expected to be about $1.027 per $100 of assessed valuation, instead of
the $1.267 advertised rate.
School’s rate certified by the state in 2015 was $1.043.
The total budget
for 2016 adopted Monday is $64,971,300, which will now be sent to the
Indiana Department of Local Government Finance which is expected to issue
the budget order early next year.
Schools Superintendent David Pruis said that Duneland’s Average Daily Member
count taken Friday, Sept. 18 is 5,861 students. The state uses the ADM in
its funding formula for schools. This next year’s base amount was increased
to $4,967 per student by state lawmakers.
Pruis said the
latest figure is lower than last year’s tally by 23 students, even with
kindergarten students being counted as whole instead of half.
Brummitt keeps the
At the start of
Monday’s meeting, Brummitt Elementary Principal Antonio Cammarata and music
teacher Jane Cardinale presented part of their music program involving
xylophones to enhance students’ musical abilities.
xylophonists Alivia West, Morgan Darnell, Lyric Griffin, David Shook, Isdel
Berruecos and Riley Henry entertained the board, playing selections like
“Cobbler, Cobbler” and “One Little Froggy Goes Hop.”
demonstrated the techniques they learn in the class such as ostinato
patterns, melody and canons.
Carinale said with
the monies received from Duneland’s capital project fund, every child at
Brummitt has a xylophone to play. The students learn the rhythms by first
practicing keeping the beat using their hands and other parts of their
bodies. Students in second grade learn part-singing while third graders
learn part-playing, Cardinale said.
learning music is “very important to the growth and development” of
students, just as including arts and physical education in their everyday
lives is important. He joked he’s never been great at reading music and is
always impressed at seeing students excel at it.
“Whenever I walk
into a room and I see students singing, dancing or playing instruments, I’m
awestruck,” he said.
In other business,
the board approved the 2015-16 school year’s list of members for the
materials reconsideration committee which is comprised of three parents (Kim
Maggio, Jane Larson and Diane Michaels), three students (Camma Duhamell,
Sydnet Ghoreishi and Nehemiah Sain), and three staff members (Carrie Disney,
Hilda Demuth-Lutze and Karla Wilson).
On another note,
Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Jim Goetz said that the
instructional materials center has been receiving “a bunch of books” that
will be offered to the community. Most of the instructional books are from
grades K through 6, he said.
The public is
welcome to check out the books at the IMC in the Duneland Administration
Center, connected to Chesterton Middle School.
unanimously approved continuing the memorandum of understanding with the
Porter County Juvenile Detention Center for both parties to ensure that any
Duneland student entered in at the center will maintain and keep up with
school work while they are there.
Acting again this
year as the board’s legislative liaison, board member John Marshall
recounted his time spent at the Indiana School Boards Association’s fall
convention where the heads of the ISBA made known what they are striving for
in the 2016 Indiana Legislative session.
The ISBA supports
adequate funding of public schools, elections of non-partisan school board
members, the current 180 instructional day calendar and opposes school
voucher programs, Marshall said, as well as giving school corporations
representation on local redevelopment commission boards.
He also learned
that many schools are reaching low points in their transportation operating
funds due to the effects of the Indiana tax cap circuit breaker and the ISBA
hopes to work with lawmakers this year to make amendments to the statute.
Board President Ralph Ayres, who is also the chair of the ISBA’s legislative
committee, said the ISBA Executive Director Brian Smith is working on
legislative drafts instead of suggesting amendments to currently existing
statutes. This year, the ISBA will be able to inform school boards more
quickly of things that are going on in the legislature, Ayres said.